How to setup and start using your new iPhone 5, iPhone 4S, or iPhone 4

How to setup and start using your new iPhone 5, iPhone 4S, or iPhone 4

If you just got your new iPhone 5, iPhone 4S, or iPhone 4, tore it out of its box, turned it on, and... are wondering just what to do next, don't worry -- iMore's here to help. Thanks to the introduction of iCloud whether this is your first iPhone ever, or just the latest in a long line, it's easier than ever to set it up as a brand new iPhone or restore it from a backup of your old iPhone, and get going.

"Just works" is just the worst when it doesn't, so instead of wasting time, check out our help and how-to tutorials below, so you can start spending time with your iPhone 5 as fast as possible.

And hey, if you already know everything there is to know about the iPhone 5, just bookmark this page and share it with family and friends who don't. We'll do the heavy lifting so you don't have to!

iCloud: The ultimate guide

Siri: The ultimate guide

Notification Center: The ultimate guide

iMessage: The ultimate guide

Photography: The ultimate guide

How to get more help with your iPhone

Have more questions or run into more problems with your iPhone 5? Here's where to get help:

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

More Posts



← Previously

iOS 6 will be good for Apple... eventually

Next up →

iFixIt commences their iPhone 5 teardown

Reader comments

How to setup and start using your new iPhone 5, iPhone 4S, or iPhone 4


Here's a big question for everyone:

I am getting a new iPhone 5 tomorrow.

I have had an iPhone 4 for 2 years and a few months.

My question is this:

Should I set up the new phone using restore from backup, or should I set it up as new?

The way I see it, restoring from backup runs the risk of bringing over bugs, hiccups, and other crud that has accumulated on my iPhone 4 over the past 2+ years. By setting it up as new, I can start fresh and clean.

The downside, of course, is that I will lose a lot of information - game scores, app arrangements, photos, remembered WiFi networks, etc. (I imagine I would also lose text messages and voicemails, but since I am porting from AT&T to Verizon, I will lose all that anyway, correct?)

Does anyone have any advice on this? Am I wrong to believe that setting it up using "restore from backup" wil bring over bugs?


I'm wondering the same thing. It's a giant pain, but I wonder if there's a benefit to starting over with the new iPhone rather than restoring a backup.

Software wise....your "new" iPhone is the same as your old one. There is no reason not to restore unless you have a lot of apps that you just don't want and even then it's a lot easier to manage them through iTunes and just sync. The apps will get updated either through iTunes or on the device itself.

I don't know if restoring brings back bugs, but I typically start from new, simply because it makes me again choose what apps I *need* on my device. As others have pointed out, you can simply manage it in iTunes after a restore, but when I do that I somehow never get around to removing the crud I never touch. If I force myself to put apps on first, I start more cleanly.

I admit it -- I can be lazy, so I might as well take advantage of it.

I need help! I set up my new iphone 5 with icloud. By mistake I checked "set up as new phone". I should have checked "back up from icloud" in the set up process. How can I go back so that I can get my apps / photos from icloud???

i'm in a serious head aching problem...
i have a iphone4 and i accidently touched the button saying erase all data and settings...
i have not installed the phone in my itunes yet..
how do i run the configuration settings... my itunes is not able to connect with the phone and i need it urgently...
any suggestion>??? asap??

New to all this. My granddaughter has downloaded some free games and does not play them. How do I eliminate them?

Hang in there. To delete an app.

1) Tap AND HOLD on the icon for a few seconds. Don't tap and let go. Holding your finger down for that few seconds is the key.

2) The icons will start to jiggle, and all apps that can be deleted will have an X on them. Touch that X.

3) It will ask if you are sure to delete. Touch delete if you are sure, or cancel if you are not.

4) The icons will still be jiggling, so you can delete another if you want.

5) When you are done, touch the circle home button under the screen.